Thursday, August 5, 2010

how to be a human

I am a bona fide technology addict. That said, no matter how deep my love for my iPhone, I am still human enough to notice that technology has a dark side. Whether it's an interest in Facebook that borders on obsessive-compulsive, or the ghost-town isolation of being the only one on a busy street not talking into a cell phone, I'm betting you've noticed it, too. I don't deny that technology creates connections between people, and is the breeding ground for some wicked-cool art and craft. But on the other side of that shiny coin is a crazy-making, attention-span-hacking, mind-numbing, soul-sucking hellion.

So, in case you forgot (like I do, most of the time).

In four easy steps.

1) Turn off your phone, and your laptop.
2) Sit. For at least five minutes. Without. Doing. Anything.
3) Experience something sensual. Pet your dog, listen to the sounds outside. Eat a mango, watch the light move across your room. I mean really experience this thing. Notice that you are an animal, in the world, right now, living inside a squishy, warm animal body.
4) Seriously, turn them off. Just try it.

Tea, blueberry smoothie, Settlers of Catan.


  1. I love this. Living in this world is so incredibly sensual, but we forget that all too often with the amount of technology we surround ourselves with. Cooking has been my solution to that. And nature hikes.

  2. I want to be in that picture. What's not to like about any of these things?

  3. Thanks for the reminder, Carsie. Glad to see you're getting your antioxidants in tasty ways. Yum.

    I'd like to contribute an addendum:
    5. Don't update your FB status or tweet about your return to humanity lest you wish to mar the experience.

  4. Don't do anything with a computer that you could do without it.
    (Paul McCartney's hand-written lyrics to "Yesterday" are in the British Museum. The lyrics I just wrote cyberspace??)
    Don't buy your child computer versions of board games!
    Don't buy your child "A walk in the woods" program.
    Take them by the hand and.....actually walk in the woods.

    Don't buy your child expensive electronic toys in fancy boxes.
    Just give them the boxes! A child who can create something out of an empty box will find that life will give them everything they need.

  5. I'm printing this. No kidding.

    I'm putting it on my wall next to my computer, and I'm going to have a go at running this exercise every day.

    Thanks Carsie.

    (Oh, yeah, I still owe you a CD. I haven't forgotten! It's just taking longer to assemble than anticipated. . .)

  6. Mmm, smoothie.
    I like being human. I'm gonna go do that now.